Sunday Punch: Teofimo Lopez blasts out Mason Menard in a roundGet the Full StoryPhoto by Al Bello Getty Images
The KO that elevated Teofimo Lopez s profile as a future contender and world champion. Teofimo Lopez is fighting Vasiliy Lomachenko next week for the undisputed lightweight title. I can say that even including Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2, this is the best boxing matchup of 2020 and nothing else on the schedule will top it for the rest of the year.
I ve already done a Lomachenko Sunday Punch piece, so this week s is all about the undefeated Honduran-American sensation.
Lopez turned professional in 2016 and unlike most boxing prospects, he was moved up the ranks fairly quickly. On December 8th, 2018 on the undercard of Lomachenko vs. Jose Pedraza, Teofimo took on veteran Mason Menard. He s a gatekeeper of sorts and only former champ Ray Beltran and rising star Devin Haney were able to beat him. Lopez passed his test with flying colors thanks to a crunching right hand that had Menard frozen in time and faceplanting on the canvas. All over in under a minute.
Watch the video and the subsequent Heisman Trophy college football celebration at the top of the page.
Lopez 15-0, 11 KOs won the IBF lightweight title last year by second-round TKO against Richard Commey, and he wasted no time calling out Lomachenko. This was supposed to happen earlier in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the US, but it is happening nevertheless on October 17th in Las Vegas.
By the way, Menard 36-4, 25 KOs was on the good end of a KO of the Year contender two years prior against Eudy Bernardo. He has not fought since August 2019 and it s safe to say that he ll be the showpiece of Lopez s highlight reel for years to come.